Will the next Zuckerberg be female?

My seven-year-old daughter is currently learning about Isambard Kingdom Brunel at school. When I asked her if she would like to be an engineer when she grows up, she shook her head rather vehemently. Instead, she wants to be a teacher.
In primary schools 85% of the teachers are women, whereas in engineering females make up less than 10%. In technology, the figures aren't much better. Just 17% of the technology workforce are women, and in games developing, it is even lower 9%.
The issue goes back to schools, where girls are seriously underrepresented in all Stem subjects, science, technology, engineering and maths.
The reasons why have long been debated. Lack of role models, the perception of geeks as rather socially challenged and a sense that Stem subjects lack creativity often a huge motivator for girls.
With women such as Marissa Mayer being paid handsomely to rescue failing tech firms such as Yahoo, and groups like the Women's Engineering Society and Lady Geek offering practical advice, there seems to be no shortage of encouragement.
Belinda Parmar heads up Lady Geek, and has authored the Little Miss Geek book, which aims to inspire the next generation of young girls to become tech pioneers. But she isn't sure we will see a female Mark Zuckerberg Facebook's chief executive for a while yet. "I don't think it is around the corner. It will be 10 or 15 years away," she said.
Boys brains work differently to girl's brains when it comes to breaking down a problem and finding a solution. Most things that are currently being built for solving problems have been done from the male brain perspective. Products girls build are very simple and they may have a series of them rather than one complicated and inter-connected solution, she said.


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